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Villaraigosa unveils $7.05-billion budget, cuts own $223,000 salary by 12%

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today released a proposed $7.05-billion city budget that relies heavily on gaining concessions from unions, including police officers and firefighters, and leasing out city-owned parking garages to close an estimated $530-million shortfall.

Villaraigosa also proposed a 10% reduction in personnel costs for all city departments to save about $200 million, cuts that could be achieved through options that include potential layoffs, early retirements, work furloughs or city workers agreeing for forgo cost-of-living raises. The mayor said he would start by cutting his $223,000-a-year salary by 12% and freezing all salaries in the mayor’s office.

“If we don’t exercise the judgment, the responsibility to make the tough choices here, what we’ll end up with is 2,800 people losing their jobs and, importantly, the services that come with it,” Villaraigosa said in a morning news conference.

His comments were aimed directly at the city’s public-employee unions,  which are fighting any attempt to lay off city workers, scrap raises or increase costs for healthcare and pension benefits and instead are pushing for an early retirement package that would take hundreds of employees off the payroll.

The budget includes a proposal to lease out six city parking garages to private investors, a program modeled after a Chicago effort that raised hundreds of millions of dollars for the city but also led to significant increases in parking rates. Villaraigosa said the city also is exploring leasing out parking meters and privatizing the Los Angeles Zoo and convention center.

The budget now goes to the City Council, which will hold a series of hearings on the budget proposals before voting on the spending plan before July 1.

-- Phil Willon and Maeve Reston

Comments () | Archives (23)

They need to get rid of the cost of living raise and just do market studies on each position to make sure they are competative. The cost of living soared due to the housing market going crazy..now that it has crashed perhaps those Cola raises should be given back as well?

Fire the Mayor, the City Council , LAUSD board members and the Teamster Union officials who brought this mess to Los Angeles. We need new officials, not these bums!!!

Why don't you ask the mayor if the new budget contains funds for the wall he wants to build around his home in Windsor Square (Getty House). This was discussed at the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council meeting recently.

Great the mayor is only making Roughly $197,000.00.

I and every other city worker solemnly swear to give back 100% of our salaries over $197,000 per year.

Till then I have a few ideas for the mayor & everyone else who says give back my raise they are however unsuitable for print.

We have a contract and we will not reopen it for the mayor, Jesus, Obama, or anyone else who cares to ask, so sorry about your luck Mr. mayor.

This is strictly a plan to raise fees on taxpayers blaming the Unions all along, truth is the contract is solid and enforceable, and will not be reopened the fees he passes on to myself the taxpayer are another story.

All this to pay for his gang programs and private individuals to benefit on the city dime.

Read the budget and see for yourself !

That 25k is very insignificant.
25,000 is to 7,050,000,000
25 is to 7,050,000
Which comes to say, he cut 25$ off of a 7 million dollar budget, hardly anything other than a token.
Still, if all politicians cut 10% of their income, that would be less money misspent.

Will all the LA politicians be taking the same cut in pay or are they going to hide themselves an increase?

The mayor's salary is a sideshow, and we have more at stake than a wall around his garden.

If the unions wont reduce salaries, the mayor needs to reduce headcount. This is an attempt to bridge the funding gap we are seeing due to the recession, and I hope someone at the unions is rational to see this for what it is - a decent proposal in their long-term best interest. The best thing for the city would be if the mayor could privatize everything short of fire and police to get out of these contracts but that is a pipe dream.

The mayor's ace-in-the-hole is that city services are so bad already I don't think anyone would notice if they went on strike.

How about the money that is being used to bulletproof his SUV? What does he need a bulletproof vehicle for anyway? It's not like anyone would want to do anything to him anyways (well,,maybe city workers who suffer a pay loss or layoff if he has his way). Why doesn't he force everybody who is a city worker to use their personal vehicles to drive? As it currently stands, every "high" ranking person throughout City Govt is provided a take home city vehicle (mayor's office, city council, police and fire dept, DWP etc) It seems that any that alone would save big bucks for the city.

The Mayor could save over a half million dollars a year by merging Channel 36 into Channel 35. Why on earth would you have two production channels that do the same thing? Channel 36 is a black hole that needs to be cut once and for all. Two Mayors have tried only to be thwarted by heavy lobbying of Council by Channel 36. They do nothing but lobby council over there yet their not even registered lobbyists.

One of their minions got the L.A. Times to write a puff piece about them last year (Patt Morrison) when instead it should be exposing them as a powerful example of waste and duplication

If the City can't cut this pathetic channel, then what can be cut?

Will his 92 assistants get a pay cut also?

One of the problems with Civil Service is the wage structure was locked in many decades ago, and pay increases are a % across the board for all classifications. As a result, huge distortions have developed over time in pay relative to the private sector, especially for low skill labor. For example, custodians at DWP make over $40k per year plus benefits because that scale is tied to lineman pay which must be kept competitive.

The City should commission an independent study of pay scales, and adjustments made which would result in huge savings. However, expect fierce resistance from the public employee unions.

I have a proposal that will add $200,000 to city budget annually but can't get it through due to monolithic bureacracy requiring, among other things, over 100 pages of compliance documentation including a certification that I haven't made any money off slavery!!! This for a simple coffee shop that employs 9 people.

Cut the red tape, get rid of the paper chasers and the city will have plenty of money.

If the mayor cut out the social services to illegal immigrants, the money would be accounted for right there.

So im supposed to work til im 95. So the LAPD and LAFD workers can sail off into the sunset with a lifetime pension ? Sorry, but you guys are gonna have to get a 401k like the rest of us. Im not gonna finance your fishing trip to Cabo.

first we have to cut the mayor, then department heads for doing nothing. the city will be saving lots of jobs

What?! I can't believe the city gives Channel 36 over half a million dollars. That channel blows. I wish I could block it from my cable system. It looks like it has a budget of two thousand dollars! Who watches that horrible channel and WHY ARE THEY GIVING THEM OVER A HALF MILLION DOLLARS!!!!! If I could sell my house I would leave the City of L.A. so I would never have to have those unresponsive politicians in my life and never have to see Channel 36 again. Thanks for bringing this to my attention poster Steve. I'm calling City Hall tomorrow to complain!

This is yet another Tony Villa mirage. First we got a trash hike to take cafre of our Police officers and then he asks for a grant/ballot measure to help with the police. Where has all the money gone from the trsh tax increase? When does it stop. You expect the salary to be cut on workers who are already struggling. Go back to the drawing board Mr Mayor.

Why not come out with facts? The LAFD and LAPD are 70% are of the budget. Cutting trash men and librarians won't mean much. It's the massive money we throw at LAPD because of the Mayor's politicking into a run for governor - including the Police and Fire pensions that have the City budget in the hole. Let's cut Police and Fire overtime out and stop all the perks and we will see some real fireworks start. Plus the huge staff that the Mayor and Police Chief enjoy should be trimmed as an example. The employee unions are just a smokescreen to curry favor with the voting public.

City Workers deserve to keep their pay. We work hard and we keep the City going...If you cut our pay, the City will suffer. Moral will increase and workers will give you exactly what you are paying them. If you cut their pay, they will cut their workload. Is this wise?

It would be better journalism (online) if you provided a link to the source material you draw your budget figures from.

Is this the place you got your information on the mayor's budget?


It would also be helpful to include a tiny bit of information about what this proposed budget means in the legislative calendar/process (i.e. "The mayor's proposed changes will now have to go before the full City Council before being implemented on Month, Day Year).

Mr Mayor, I saw the picture of you with Barack Obama and the two of you are persons of color, but that is where the similarities end. There is no transparency in this budget you have proposed. And you have the same thing going on as in the bank and automotive bailout. Everything going to Wall Street, or in this case appointed and elected officials, and non for Main Street, meaning the frontline and backbone of the cities workforce. The people who man the public desks, pick up the refuse, repair the roads, keep the city buildings funcitional, and make the city safe to live in. In your proposed budget these same people shoulder the burden of saving the city money by accepting pay cuts and increased work loads.
Mr. Mayor you have a war chest of money you've collected out of state for your run for the Governor's Office, so you can afford a 12% cut in salary. What about the City Council, which is the second highest paid in the nation. They voted themselves a raise a few years back. Why can't they reverse themselves and vote themselves a pay cut. They could also trim the perks which come with their office.
And one more thing Mr Mayor, when you are running for Mayor will you do so off the clock. The people who elected you probably expected a full time mayor not a part time mayor and full time wanna be governor looking for one more photo-op.

Cut "city services" please. Way too many clerks. When you need roadwork done four van fulls of workers roll in and only one van load actually works. Anyone visit a police station recently? Looks like we've hired a bunch of fat guys to drink coffee all the time. Cut personnel by 50%, keep the 50% who might do a smidgeon of work, and noone would notice the difference in "services."

12% minus his $233000 is nothing. I'll be more impress if the bozo take home 12% of his current salary! And what about all those perks like the Laker tix he got for free. As a city official, he should not have take perks. I contract for defense and that is a no-no for us and we get FIRE if we did what the Mayor did! Any freebie should have been auction off at Ebay and the $ go back to the city or be given to charity. I would be more happy if some sick kid from the children hospital gets to see a Laker game!

If all the city official drive the own car or force to take the metro bus/trains on their own dime, we would be in this mess. Also we would have the best bus and train systems in the country REALLY FAST! Disband LAUSD and any pension for these top officials. They don't need to be pay $200000 after they retire. They already rip the city off for years. No write of lunches, no write of travel, no assistants for the city officials and their wives. Trim that. Stop firing the people or cutting salaries or eliminating pensions for the school teachers. If the city leaders are saying their hands are tied and they don't know what to cut, just look in the mirror and fire yourself.


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